Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Yes, the Honda Civic receives a lot of complaints because so many were sold. And sure, car parts only last so long and things eventually break. But it's never good to see this many transmission complaints, especially when the average mileage at failure is just north of 100,000 miles.

Especially when you consider that it's predecessor also has a nasty history with transmission complaints.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,176 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Honda Civic steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #16

Aug 152015


  • miles


Headers are cracked car lost power, suspension is not durable. Steering components not durable

- Rosemead, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 052010


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, the vehicle was making an abnormal noise and the steering wheel vibrated. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the brakes failed. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000. The VIN was not available.

- Sausalito, CA, USA

problem #14

Oct 302014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle veered to the left and caused the contact to crash into a barb wire fence. The vehicle rolled over. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a bruised neck that required medical attention. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Camarillo , CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 092014


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owned a 2002 Honda Civic. While driving approximately 60 mph, the steering wheel seized. The contact stated that there was a loss of steering control and the vehicle crashed into a cement barrier. There were no injuries reported. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to an independent mechanic. The VIN was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Altadena , CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 052013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 98,860 miles
I was driving today and suddenly the SRS light came on. The radio shut off for a few seconds while the light came on. When the SRS light shut off, the radio went back to working properly. A few minutes later, the SRS light came on again when I was at a red light and the vehicle stalled. I brought the vehicle to my mechanic who ran a diagnostic test. He stated that the problem I had experienced did not register; thus, he couldn't find an underlying cause. After researching this topic further on, I discovered that many other people have had similar problems with the same make and model.

- Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #11

Jan 182013


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated the power steering hose was defective and leaked power steering fluid. The contact stated while doing a routine maintenance on his vehicle he noticed a the hose was very dirty and a puddle of fluid under the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic, who inspected the failure and advised that the power steering hose needed to be replaced. The parts needed to complete the repairs were on backorder and would take some time before the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 67,000.

- Venice, CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 112006


  • 27,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. While accelerating, the contact hears a loud clunking noise in the steering column. He also experiences difficulty steering when turning the steering column. The contact noticed that the steering unit felt loose. He is in the process of having the vehicle inspected by a dealer to determine the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 27,000 and current mileage was 50,000.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #9

Nov 012002

Civic 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Contact stated that vehicle had its steering changed twice.the passenger seat would not work. She took the vehicle to the dealership, they fixed the seat. The passengers side seat was broken. The safety restraint system light came on the dashboard. She took the vehicle to the dealership to have the lights reset. The light was on again. The contact's vehicle was involved side impact crash. Upon impact, side airbags did not deploy.

- Manhattan , NY, USA

problem #8

May 152003


  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The car was purchased new on April 20, 2002. Since the very first day several problems were discovered which Honda has been unable to resolve. One ongoing problem is a vibration at 55 mph in the steering wheel, which Honda has attributed to a wheel balance problem and tire problem. The car has been serviced 14 times by Honda and Firestone (tire manufacturer) and merchant tire (balance). Honda tried to balance the wheels and after several failed attempts told me it was a problem with faulty tires (oem). Honda told me they could do nothing further about the problem and told me I had to take care of the problem on my own with the tire manufacturer despite the fact that the car was obviously still under Honda warranty. None of the balancing solved the problem and Honda told me it must be defective (original) tires. Firestone them replaced 3 tires under warranty and the problem still persisted. They attempted to balance the wheels 2 more times. I went back to Honda and they balanced the wheels again with no success and they would not investigate the problem further. There are several other problems. One is a problem with hissing and static in the radio reception when the rear window defogger is on (since new). Honda replaced the radio and defogger switch but the problem is still there. Another problem is a visibility problem in the rear window (since new). A hazy sticky film develops on the rear window. It is very difficult to clean with household glass cleaner. Another problem is that the original Honda floor mat wore right through when the car was not even a year old. I had to purchase a whole set for about $90. The drivers seat upholstery also began to wear prematurely. Another problem that developed over the past year is a damp moldy musty odor coming from the air conditioner/heater vents. The odor is sometimes strong and when I turn on the ac or heater it makes me cough and feel ill. I am very disappointed in the quality of this vehicle.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #7

Jun 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
I bought the 2002 Honda Civic new in October. The first week I had it they had to replace the power steering rack as the car was making a horrible noise and was hard to turn. Then, on three different occasions the car simply would not start. It was parked all three times, I would get into the car and it would turn but not start. After sitting idle for about 30 minutes, it would finally start. The dealership could never duplicate the problem, so consequently it was not diagnosed or repaired. Then the car starting having problems with what I thought were the brakes. When I would slow down, the brakes would grab and I could feel a jolt. The brakes also felt spongy. I took the car in, and again, the dealership said they could not duplicate the problem. I finally insisted the dealership keep the car for a few days and drive it. As they were driving it out of their garage, the brakes totally failed. They replaced the master cylinder 2 times. The brakes still grabbed, so hard in fact, that both my husband and I have had drinks in our hands while driving and the drinks spilled on us. The dealership decided the grabbing was an erratic downshift of the transmission. Honda said and I quote: This is a normal problem with the Honda 2002 Civics. The dealership would not fix the car since it was a normal problem. I still don't know what a normal problem is! during this time, I began pursing the Oklahoma lemon law. I tried to have the dealership buy my car back and they said they couldn't because it had so many problems and they couldn't sell it as a certified used Honda. So, I have a new car that was a lemon from the day I bought it and the dealership nor Honda will buy it back!!!!!!!! Honda did give me their 100,000 mile warranty for free. Today, I took the car back in to the dealership as the brakes are grabbing harder. Tonda L. ames, Apr bartlesville public schools community relations supervisor 1100 S. jennings bartlesville, ok 74003 918-336-8600

- Collinsville, OK, USA

problem #6

Dec 042003


  • miles


After the first years maintenance tires were rotated. Since then I have had numerous steering problems. I do not feel I have safe control of vehicle while driving. Contacted dealership and service as done again for free. Dealership stated a wheel alignment was needed. This still did not correct the problem. I still have steering problems and it feels unsafe at times I am nervous during turns. At one point when I'm at a light and press gas wheels steer off without control. This has happened a number of times. At one point another driver told me smoke was coming from my wheel I looked and saw no problem since it hasn't occurred but steering is still an issue. Date below is most recent issue. I am notifying before a accident occurs. Dealership tested and stated there is no more problem but yet I feel unsafe since first maintenance at dealership. Before then car was excellent. Dealership also stated rotation may take a while to adjust. It has not yet. They would like to just rotate tires back to original I don't want that. Dealership stated it helps wear on tires by rotating.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #5

Oct 152003

(reported on)


  • miles
The suspension of this vehicle had been lowered by dealership, resulting in steering problems. The ability to make turns were more difficult than normal. Tires squealed when turning corners. Also, altered headlights, which caused bulbs to break.

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

problem #4

Apr 042003


  • 2,950 miles
While driving, the vehicle suddenly veered to the right, which caused the consumer to lose control of the vehicle and hit a guard rail.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #3

Apr 122003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
Steering locked up on 2002 Honda Civic two days in a row. On a right turn, the steering would not turn back (straighten out) and kept going right. The second incident resulted in an accident which totaled the Honda.

- Trenton, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 282003


  • miles
The vehicle swayed from left to right.

- Wakefield, MA, USA

problem #1

Sep 142002


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While driving and making a turn the vehicle was being pulled in the opposite direction at turn. 185/70R14, dot# W2rvs9H, original equipment, 622 miles, Honda, Civic 2002. Tires were very noisy. Dealer stated that the manufacturer changed the suspension and maybe this is causing the problem.

- Asberry, NJ, USA

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